The 23rd Annual Webby Awards - Arrivals

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Neil deGrasse Tyson is eating space crow. The astrophysicist is apologizing for the headass tweet he dropped yesterday (August 4) that essentially said people were being way too emotional about two mass shootings in less than 24 hours.

“In the past 48hrs, the USA horrifically lost 34 people to mass shootings. On average, across any 48hrs, we also lose… 500 to Medical errors 300 to the Flu 250 to Suicide 200 to Car Accidents 40 to Homicide via Handgun Often our emotions respond more to spectacle than to data,” tweeted Tyson.

The tweet is still up, and he was rightly read for filth on the Internets.

Today (August 5), he published an apology on his Facebook page. In a post titled TweetStorm, he dropped a longwinded “my bad.”

“My intent was to offer objectively true information that might help shape conversations and reactions to preventable ways we die,” explained Tyson. “Where I miscalculated was that I genuinely believed the Tweet would be helpful to anyone trying to save lives in America. What I learned from the range of reactions is that for many people, some information –-my Tweet in particular — can be true but unhelpful, especially at a time when many people are either still in shock, or trying to heal – or both.”

Then he got to the point: “So if you are one of those people, I apologize for not knowing in advance what effect my Tweet could have on you. I am therefore thankful for the candor and depth of critical reactions shared in my Twitter feed. As an educator, I personally value knowing with precision and accuracy what reaction anything that I say (or write) will instill in my audience, and I got this one wrong.”

We’ll give him props for noting the err of his ways, but that’s where we’ll stop.



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